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John G. Shortall

lawyer , humanitarian

John G. Shortall, Irish lawyer, humanitarian.


Shortall, John G. was born on September 20, 1838 in Dublin, Ireland. Son of John and Charlotte (Towson) Shortall.


Removed to New York, 1841.


In Chicago, since 1854. Studied law; admitted to Illinois bar. In 1861 became owner of real estate abstracts which acquired exceptional value after destruction of public records of deeds, etc., by fire of 1871.

One of founders Illinois Humane Society, 1869. President same, 1877-1906. Organized American Humane (National) Association, 1877.

President thereof many terms. Presided over Humane Congress, World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893, and presented association’s exhibit (award). In 1880 appointed appraiser school lands, City of Chicago.

10 years director and 3 terms president Chicago Public Library. As such obtained in 1890 consent of abutting owners and acquired possession of Dearborn Park site for library. Home: Lakeside, Ill.


Married Mary Dunham Staples, September 5, 1861.

John Shortall

Charlotte (Towson) Shortall

Mary Dunham Staples